Ship­ping home­made cook­ies for hol­i­day gift­ing

Tak­ing care at the front end will en­sure a happy re­cip­i­ent

StarMetro Vancouver - - THE KIT - Becky Krys­tal FOOD

Now that on­line shop­ping is an ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence, re­ceiv­ing a pack­age in the mail has lost a lot of its nov­elty. Ra­zor blades. Socks. Di­a­pers. Yawn.

If your gift re­cip­i­ents are used to the generic pack­ag­ing and con­tents from Giant Re­tailer XYZ, you can bring back the magic. All it takes is a box of home­made cook­ies.

Bak­ing and pack­ing cook­ies for ship­ping takes a lit­tle more thought and ef­fort, all of which the re­ceivers will ap­pre­ci­ate once they tear open the box. A few tips:

Choose recipes that are fairly sturdy and neat. Cook­book au­thor Nancy Baggett rec­om­mends cook­ies that are at least 1/4-inch thick, skip­ping any that are crumbly, brit­tle or ten­der. Be wary of sticky fill­ings or glazes that are li­able Sturdy doesn’t have to mean hard and taste­less when it comes to ship­ping home­made cook­ies. to smudge and ad­here to ev­ery­thing. Among the va­ri­eties ideal for ship­ping: Bis­cotti, bars (blondies, brown­ies), mac­a­roons, gin­ger­bread and clas­sic drops (oat­meal, choco­late chip and peanut but­ter). There are plenty of oth­ers that will work, too. Just think it through.

Take tim­ing into ac­count. You want treats that will last at least a few days. A week or two is even bet­ter. For op­ti­mal fresh­ness, con­sider two­day ship­ping so that your re­cip­i­ents will still have plenty of time to en­joy the good­ies while they’re at their peak. Try to work in ad­vance to avoid the mad last-minute rush at the post of­fice.

Bake cook­ies with com­ple­men­tary flavours that are fine to min­gle, or pack each va­ri­ety sep­a­rately. As­sume a cou­ple of days in a box will cause them to col­lide both phys­i­cally and aro­mat­i­cally.

Pack with care. Sep­a­rate lay­ers of cook­ies with wax pa­per in­side air­tight plas­tic con­tain­ers or metal tins. If you’re wor­ried about a top pop­ping off, the ex­tra se­cu­rity of a tied rib­bon or dec­o­ra­tive tape is worth it. Place the cookie con­tain­ers in­side a larger ship­ping box lined with pack­ing peanuts, bub­ble wrap or other airy filler (I’m a fan, no shock, of crum­pled news­pa­per) for in­su­la­tion.

More food at thes­tar.com/life

TOM MCCORKLE/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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